Wade Barrett‘s WWE release in 2016 was one of the most disappointing in WWE history. The former Intercontinental Champion came into the company with some of the biggest potential in years and was a certainty to become the first ever British WWE Champion.
Winning the first ever series of the NXT game show, he earned himself a WWE Championship match with Randy Orton. As well as that, he led his fellow rookies as the stable known as The Nexus, with the eight man-team proving one of the most influential and exciting faction in years.
The team ran roughshod over the WWE, beating down top stars like John Cena, Edge, Chris Jericho and even Bret Hart (after suffering from a career ending stroke). This culminated in a 8 vs 8 tag team match at Summerslam 2010, which shockingly ended in a victory for John Cena’s team and ruined the NXT’s aura for the future. This had a big effect on Barrett, who was immediately dropped from the main event scene and relegated to the mid-card.
This is where he would remain, although in 2014 he would start to build momentum as one of the most popular characters on the roster. Under the name Bad-News Barrett he became a star, hilarious laying into crowds and delivering bad news, but as a dastardly heel in the ring who fans could not help but love. This led him to an Intercontinental Championship reign, although it would end due to injury as so many of his potential pushed did.
After a few failed pushes, most infamously as part of the League of Nations in their eternal battle to make people like Roman Reigns, Wade Barrett was released by WWE in 2016 after 6 years on the main roster. His firing shocked many, who still held out hope that the English grappler could still become a world champion if only Vince McMahon could get behind him one last time, instead of endlessly pushing The Big Dog down everyone’s throats.
The reason behind Wade Barret’s firing was a shock at the time, but former NXT Season 1 winner recently revealed why he left WWE and whether or not he will ever return to wrestling in the ring again.
Why Did Wade Barrett Leave WWE?
Wade Barrett left WWE due to years of failed pushes, injuries and being burnt out by the WWE system. He had been promised big things in WWE but for one reason or another his seemingly endless potential was left unfulfilled. Being stuck in multiple factions did not help him to reach the top of the mountain eventually led to him leaving the company, seemingly in his prime.
Speaking to Digital Spy in a recent interview, Wade Barrett said;
“I think it was the whole process of being a WWE Superstar after many, many years in terms of the schedule, my disappointment at some of the creative stuff that was going, being constantly beat up, and the issues in my personal life that I’d neglected for years due to the crazy schedule that I was on.”
“In all honesty, I needed to go away and just do something else and clear my mind and kind of recalibrate where I was going in life.”
“It wasn’t like a big blow up or anything like that, it was more that my contract was coming to an end and nothing good was going to come of me signing a new contract, so it was a pretty easy decision really to move on and go and just do something else and develop personally and develop my personal life too.”
After leaving WWE, Wade Barrett did not go back to wrestling full-time. Instead, he took on a commentator role in a number of different promotions. He first joined up as the lead commentator in the World of Sport wrestling reboot in 2018, although that show only lasted 1 series after disastrous ratings for the poorly produced X-Factor inspired wrestling show on ITV.
Later on he moved to the US and commentated on the new NWA Power Youtube show, although the COVID pandemic put his new job on hold. He would eventually make the jump back to WWE, becoming an NXT commentator in 2022 and was moved to Monday Night Raw in 2022.
Is Wade Barrett Retired?
Wade Barrett has confirmed that he is retired from wrestling for good. In a recent interview in the build up to the first ever UK Pay Per View, September’s Clash at the Castle, the English wrestler confirmed he would not be lacing up his boots ever again, claiming “I’m not going anywhere near a ring again”
This will disappoint English fans who hoped to see him come back to the ring as Bad-News Barrett, but will at least be happy that we get to see him weekly on commentary on WWE TV. Perhaps a return at the 2022 Royal Rumble could be a consolation prize, if he would agree to perform one last time in a cameo appearance.
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